Trapattoni: Reserves must step-up

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Giovanni Trapattoni has challenged his fringe players to grasp the opportunity to force their way into his World Cup plans.

The Republic of Ireland boss will make wholesale changes for Tuesday night's friendly clash with South Africa at Thomond Park three days after seeing his senior men clinch a vital qualifier victory in Cyprus.

"When you go to a World Cup, you are going to have important players missing for big games," said Trapattoni. "I hope we don't, but sometimes you are missing important players, and it is important for a coach to have others, not necessarily with the same qualities, who can play in that position with experience and personality."

Manchester United defender John O'Shea has returned to his club for scans on a calf injury, while midfielder Aiden McGeady has been excused duty because of a knock. With skipper Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Kevin Kilbane and Stephen Hunt also being released, the depth of the Italian's squad will be tested in full.

Only Sean St Ledger, providing he has not suffered any reaction to his knee injury, Keith Andrews and captain for the night Kevin Doyle of the XI who started in Nicosia will do so again in Limerick.

But Trapattoni has impressed upon those men who come in - Keiren Westwood, Stephen Kelly, Paul McShane, Eddie Nolan, Liam Lawrence, Darron Gibson, Andy Keogh and Caleb Folan will all play - that they need to prove to him they have what it takes to do a job in the remaining qualifiers and beyond if called upon.

"Players like Eddie Nolan and Liam Lawrence, they can play with personality," added Trapattoni.

"I am looking for a team that does not have to change because players are missing - one time John O'Shea on the right, one time John O'Shea on the left.

"We need to be able to play without evening thinking about it because we all know the system, and that's why we need to look at the players who can play in those positions."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Robbie Keane
Keith Andrews
Caleb Folan
Sean St Ledger
John O'Shea
Stephen Hunt
Premier League
Kevin Doyle
Manchester United
Kevin Kilbane
Shay Given
Richard Dunne
Paul McShane
Eddie Nolan
Stephen Kelly
Darron Gibson
Stephen Hunt
Liam Lawrence

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